Opening-Day Talk: Pao Houa Her
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Opening-Day Talk: Pao Houa Her: Paj qaum ntuj / Flowers of the Sky

In celebration of the opening of Pao Houa Her: Paj qaum ntuj / Flowers of the Sky, join us for a conversation with the artist and exhibition curators Victoria Sung and Matthew Villar Miranda. The exhibition centers the experiences of Hmong Americans in the Mount Shasta region of Northern California, a much-contested landscape that has in recent years become the site of considerable subsistence agriculture and cannabis cultivation. Through her large-format photographs of the surrounding landscape, Her’s work lends a poetic dignity and bodily reality to the community’s on-the-ground experience.

Free tickets to the talk will be available at the Main Lobby desk beginning at 5 pm. Please check back closer to the date for program details and current COVID-19 guidelines.

Gallery admission is free on Thursday nights, 5–9 pm. Admission tickets must be reserved separately; quantities are limited.

Please note that a photographer and videographer will be present to document the program. Questions from the audience will be included in this recording. If you prefer not to be documented, please let a staff member know when you check in at the desk upon arrival.

Pao Houa Her is recognized for her provocative photographs of the Hmong, the indigenous people of Laos who immigrated to the United States following the Vietnam War. Highly personal, Her’s images are not only a narrative extension of her own experience of being born in Laos and fleeing the country with her family at age three, but they also sensitively document the larger ethnic Hmong culture that became increasingly established in various locations in the United States in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Her was born in 1982 in Laos, and was raised in St. Paul, MN. She currently lives in Blaine, MN. She received an MFA in photography from the Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT, in 2012, and a BFA in photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2009. Her received a McKnight Artists Fellowship in 2016, a Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists in 2013, and was awarded Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2009 and 2012. She also received an Alice Kimball Fellowship in 2012.

Since 2012, Her’s photographs have garnered solo exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Franklin Artworks in Minneapolis; the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, MI; and the Center for Hmong Studies, the Gordon Parks Gallery, and the Bindery Projects, all in St. Paul. Her’s photographs have also been featured in group shows at the Telemark Art Center in Skein, Norway; the Minnesota Museum of Art in St. Paul; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Camera Club of New York; and in galleries in New York and Los Angeles. Her will participate in the 2022 edition of the Whitney Biennial.

Victoria Sung, associate curator, Visual Arts
Matthew Villar Miranda, curatorial fellow, Visual Arts

Assistive-listening devices are available in the Walker Cinema upon request.

The opening-day talk on Thursday, July 28, will have ASL interpretation.

For more information about accessibility or to request additional accommodations, call 612-375-7564 or email

For more information about accessibility at the Walker, visit our Access page.

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Personal photography is permitted throughout the Walker and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, but please turn off the flash when visiting the galleries.

To help us promote future events and programs, this event may be photographed or recorded. By attending, you consent to appear in this documentation and its future use by the museum. Please let staff know upon arrival if you prefer not to be photographed.